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UC Browser launches new version; crosses 130 million users

An updated UC Browser 12.0, a product of Alibaba’s UCWeb, has been launched in India. UC Browser also crossed 130 Million Monthly Active Users (MAUs) in India in January, the company said.

The browser touched 100 million users in November 2016, so the last 30 million have been acquired in more than a year. UC Browser, has a market share of over 43% as per StatCounter, a decrease from 57% in 2016.

UC Browser is the sixth-most downloaded app in India, according to reports from venture capitalist Mary Meeker and Kleiner Perkins.

UC Browser also registered 60% growth in video views from Q2 2017-Q4 2017 in India, in line with the increase the country’s video consumption. According to a report by market data and insights company App Annie, the total data usage in top video streaming apps in India saw a big surge of 165% from H1 2016 to H1 2017.

Updates and changes

The new version of the browser will support faster video content consumption on mobile, now consumes 50% less data and buffers with zero time lag, UCWeb said in a press release.

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The browser saw 50% growth in page views on its news feed between 2nd and 4th quarter in 2017 in India. This insight has been incorporated in the upgrade, as per the company, as the platform is now powered by big data technology instead of a traditional tool-plus.

The updated browser claims to offer a better viewing experience for lower-end phones. Some features:

  • Supports video coding format VP9 Codec, saving 50% data while retaining video quality
  • Supports new Media Source Extensions to optimise pre-loading of video on website
  • Allows user to watch a video and download it simultaneously and gives preview on a thumbnail
  • Runs on the upgraded core U4 Kernel, which allows for faster page loads without draining the RAM of the device. This helps smooth browsing even for budget phones with RAM as low as 1-2 GB
  • Weather and zodiac sign features

UCWeb recently also launched its mobile marketing platform UC Ads in India, allowing businesses to utilise UC Ads’ content marketing solutions to reach users across platforms such as UC Browser, UC News and 9Apps. UC Ads is focused on businesses in domains such as e-commerce, online travel agent (OTA), education, automobile, entertainment, consumer electronics, and IT, as well as smaller businesses.

The Alibaba-owned browser has previously been in news for being removed from the Google Playstore for seven days, as it was “not in line with Google policy”.  There have also been concerns that UC Browser is sending data to China, and it might not be allowed to function in India.

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